Scone (GONE), Scone (TONE) however you choose to pronounce it I think the one thing we can all agree on is that they’re one of our favourite treats with a rich history.

Let’s start with the name, as it does attract so much discussion! The word Scones comes from the Dutch word schoonbrot (which clears nothing about the pronunciation for up for us at all), which means beautiful bread, other people think the word comes from Stone of Destiny which is where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. A scone is a single serving cake or quick bread, scones are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal and are baked in sheet pans. Often they are lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed with egg wash. The original scone was round and flat, usually as large as a medium sized plate.

British scones are often lightly sweetened , but may also be savoury. They usually include raisins, currants, cheese or dates. The griddle scone is a variety of scone which is cooked on a griddle on the stove top rather than baked in the oven. Also other common varieties include the ‘dropped scone’ or ‘drop scone’ like a pancake, after this method the ‘lemonade scone’ was introduced which is exactly the same but using lemonade and cream instead of butter and milk. Theres also fruit scones which contain currants, sultanas , peel and place cherries which is just like a plain round scone with fruit mixed into the dough.

Want to treat yourself this weekend? Here’s a quick how to:

– Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

– Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.

– Stir in the sugar and then the milk to get a soft dough.

– Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 5cm/2in cutter to stamp out rounds and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.

– Brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

– Cool on a wire rack and serve with butter and good jam and maybe some clotted cream.

Vanilla can cater an excellent Afternoon Tea spread including Scones, Cakes, Tea and Coffee. If you’re interested please don’t hesitate to speak to our lovely team via 01625 421 685 or email us on info@vanillainallseasons.co.uk

Visit Masson Farm!

Please take a look at Masson Farm’s new website and you may just have found your dream Wedding venue. Masson Farm can be discovered close to Matlock, Derbyshire surrounded by breathtaking countryside.

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Civil Ceremonies and Weddings take place in The Swallow Barn, originally a cow byre. With its limestone walls and high vaulted beams offering such a natural, relaxed and romantic feel for your photographs. The beams are swathed with swags of hops which are traditionally associated with good luck and prosperity.

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From effortless pastoral picnics by day with the simplicity of fairy lights and a warming fire pit under the stars shared with friends to a fine dining marquee banquet with cocktails and a DJ . Your every wish will be taken care of by Denise. It truly will be ‘your day’ as Masson farm don’t expect you to share it with anyone else. This means they can devote their time ensuring that what matters to you, matters to them.

Bonfire Night Treats!

Are you heading to a Bonfire Night celebration this week? There’s lots happening in Cheshire and the surrounding areas, so there’s plenty of fun activities to get involved with. It’s another great excuse for us to get in the kitchen and start cooking lots of traditional Bonfire night treats.

Upper House Hayfield

Whether you’re making classic toffee apples or treacle toffee, there’s always something tasty on offer.

Take a look at this fantastic recipe for Bonfire toffee below. Have a go and get stuck in!

You will need:
oil, for greasing
450g dark brown sugar
125ml hot water
¼ tsp cream of tartar
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup

Line the base and sides of an A4 sized tin with non-stick parchment and then grease it really well.
Put the sugar and hot water in a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, do not stir the mixture at any point instead tilt the pan if you need to move it around.
Weigh out your remaining ingredients, if you put them in a really well greased jug they will be much easier to pour out. Once the sugar has dissolved add all the ingredients and pop the sugar thermometer in, you can use the thermometer to give it a quick swirl but try not to mix it too much.
Bring to the boil and boil until you reach soft crack on your thermometer (270/140C) This may take up to 30 minutes, be patient and do not leave the pan unattended as it can change quickly. As soon as it reaches the temp, tip it into your tin and leave it to cool.
Once cool remove it from the tin a break up with a toffee hammer or rolling pin. Store in an airtight tin or wrap up in boxes or cellophane bags to give as gift. Recipe via BBC Good Food.

Have a Halloween Mocktail

It’s Halloween! Whether you are you celebrating with a scary party, or simply staying in and waiting for the trick or treaters to pop by, it’s a great excuse to have fun in the kitchen. There really are so many great sweet and savoury dishes that you can create to celebrate the spooky event. From ghastly cookies to fun jelly slime cocktails there’s so many things to experiment with!


Image via Jonny Draper Photography.

Here’s a fun jelly mocktail that’s quite simple to make and ideal for parties!

Eyeball snot-tail
The jellied texture and edible eyeball in this slimy mocktail are dreadfully delicious – perfect Halloween party fare for kids

You will need:
135g pack lime jelly
700ml apple & pear juice (we used Copella)
300ml lemonade
425g can lychees in syrup
10-15 cocktail cherries from a jar
10-15 raisins
You will need
10-15 cocktail sticks

Make the jelly following pack instructions and chill until set. Combine the apple & pear juice with the lemonade in a large jug and chill in the fridge.
To make the eyeballs, drain the lychees and poke a hole in each cherry with one of the cocktail sticks. Put the cherry inside the lychee, then push the raisin into the cherry. Press the eyeball onto the end of a cocktail stick and set aside until serving.
When the jelly has set, use a whisk to break it up into small chunks. Spoon into the cocktail glasses and top up with the apple juice mixture. Put an eyeball into each glass before serving. Recipe via BBC Good Food.

The Secret Vintage Wedding Fair


The Secret Vintage Wedding Fair is being held at the fabulous Owen House Wedding Barn this Sunday 25th October.


Image via The Secret Vintage Wedding Fair Facebook Page.

“With catwalk shows, live music, goody bags for brides to be, glass of fizz, floral and vintage book folding workshops and some fantastic exhibitors – see you there!”

Tickets are £2.50 each in advance or £5 on the door. The event will run from 11am – 3.30pm this Sunday, and we can’t wait to get started.


Image via The Secret Vintage Wedding Fair Facebook Page.

You can find out more about the upcoming event via Twitter @Secretweddfair and search the hashtag #SVWF

We are a Secret Vintage Wedding Fair recommended caterer, so we’ll see you there!


Image via The Secret Vintage Wedding Fair Facebook Page.

You can view our menus online to discover which dishes interest you. Take a look at our online gallery and view some of the bespoke meals we can create for your event.

If you have any ideas of your own for your Wedding menu then please share them with us, we are more than happy to work with couples to create something unique and individual to them. We love creating fresh new dishes inspired by our couples, new and interesting canapés are always fabulous!

Contact us to discuss your Wedding catering by telephone on 01625 421685 or send us an email info@vanillainallseasons.co.uk

We can’t wait to meet more Manchester Brides this weekend!

Are you in on the secret?

Fun with Function Central

Our friends over at Function Central recently featured us in one of their blogs about Terri & Tom’s Wedding, which we catered. It was a wonderful event, we were thrilled to receive this lovely message from the couple,

“Vanilla in All Seasons – Adam and his team were helpful and efficient. All the guests were raving about the food and how professional the staff were. We had a lot of vegetarians in the family and they made a completely new dish for us, which was delicious!”

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Image via Function Central.

We always love meeting other professionals in the Wedding industry and Function Central were no exception! Hudson, the band which Function Central organised for the evening part of Terri & Tom’s Wedding were incredible and brought a fabulous atmosphere to Tilston Memorial Hall.

In case you haven’t heard of them Function Central are, “the UK’s leading live music booking agency.” You can contact them to discover a range of music performers across the UK. Hire a large choice of bands, musicians and DJs for weddings, parties, events & more.

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All images courtesy of Function Central.

You can check out their blog and keep an eye on all the fun events they run throughout the year. Contact them by telephone on 0845 643 2160 or via email at info@functioncentral.co.uk

All About Clippy’s

"Clippy McKenna founded the Clippy’s brand in 2008. She is an everyday Mum obsessed with creating brilliant food. Her cordials, conserves, relishes, chutneys, savoury jellies and chilli marmalades are available in supermarkets across the U.K. Clippy is single-handedly taking on the European Union and the U.K. Government in a battle to call her lower sugar level, fruit-tastic conserves ‘jam’In 2012, Clippy won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Inspiring Women’s Awards." – Clippy's.com



Her products range from fruity cordials such as apple, rude barb & ginger. She also provides a large range of conserves, a wide range of jellies, chutney & marmalades. She has created flavoursome recipes such as apple, redcurrant & chilli jelly. Clippy's works to utilise the British apple, due to the decline in our orchards since 1970. Not only does Clippy's have all these brilliant products on offer but she has also provided us with scrumptious recipes which use her products to make them extra tasty. Try her Buttermilk and Orange Scones with Clippy's Conserve & Cornish Clotted Cream, or Sweethearts Butterfly Fairy Cakes. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth then you can also make one of Clippy's savoury options & recipes such as this tasty Pearl Barley and Sizzling Garlic & Thyme Sausage Risotto. We use Clippy's products throughout our dishes for example in our smooth chicken liver parfait with Clippy's apple & thyme jelly.


We recommend that you try the Clippy's products yourself, as they are widely available in Tesco, Asda, Ocado & Booths. Images via Clippy's.com

J.J.J Heathcotes

We take pride in providing the freshest possible ingredients for all of our dishes. We spend time sourcing the very best local suppliers and aim to create menus that incorporate the finest seasonal ingredients.

One of these suppliers is J.J.J Heathcotes, purveyors of the best quality meat, poultry and game. They take immense pride in sourcing only the very best local produce from their own and neighbouring Cheshire and Derbyshire farms. Founded almost one hundred years ago by Jonathan James Jackson Heathcote, they have appeared in the Guardian’s good food guide, the UKTV channel guide and Rick Stein’s Food Heroes.


With three separate premises, an extensive butchering knowledge and friendly staff, they are truly one of the finest butchers we’ve ever come across. We all know how important it is to shop locally these days and there’s no better way to source your meat than from the experts at J J J Heathcote. Make sure you pop in to either one of their two shops when your next in Bollington or if you’re a bit further afield, their site in Ponyton, which also houses the very finest in locally sourced produce.


J J J Heathcote
114 Wellington Road
SK10 5HT
t: 01625 573172

J J J Heathcote
39A Palmerston Street
SK10 5PX
t: 01625 572202

J J J Heathcote
5 Fountain Place
SK12 1QX
t: 01625 872154

Take a look at their Facebook page here for more information including opening times and directions.

Image via www.bollington-tc.gov.uk

Shop Locally this Christmas!

As a company we aim to support local businesses, and believe it’s essential to keep the community thriving. There are many great independent retailers which can be found in every town across the country – and we feel it’s important to support them! It’s great to be able to serve such wonderful dishes made with local produce and avoid what’s been mass produced.

There are several great local businesses which we work with including, JJJ Heathcotes, the famous family butchers. Another great supplier of ours is Clippy’s who we get our fantastic cordial, chutneys, relishes & more from. Cheshire Fish provide us with so many tasty fish & seafood products. Bramhall Bakery is a wonderful place to visit, with their large selection of sweet and savoury produce.


Another one of our suppliers is Cherry Blossom Bakery. You may have come across their lovely tea room in Macclesfield town. We highly recommend that you head over for a lovely spot of afternoon tea. They also produce the most fabulous cupcakes! Their skill & design in cake decoration is of an incredible standard, and now you can learn it too! They hold cupcake decorating classes which you can attend no matter your skill level, what could be more fun? This could also make for a brilliant Christmas present…

So, “If you love great food and genuine hospitality, Vanilla in Allseasons is the outside catering company for you! We take pride in offering the finest, freshest, locally sourced food combined with a friendly, discreet and professional service.”
Image via Cherry Blossom Bakery.

Christmas Recipes

Get in the festive spirit with our Christmas themed recipes here:

This week we are sharing our vegetable recipe, there will be more to follow.

Brussels sprouts – a delicious idea:

Why not make a change to your brussels sprouts this year?


Simply follow our instructions below for a fabulous twist on a Christmas classic:


1 pound of small brussels sprouts, rinsed

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1/4 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto ham

1 pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Next you slice the brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise. Don’t trim the ends as they will hold together better with them. Toss the sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet with the oil and a good generous sprinkle of the salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes total, but start to check then around the 25 minute mark, toss them around too. In the meantime you can chop up your ham into small chunks. Heat a frying pan over medium – high heat and add the prosciutto & sauce for about 5 minutes until they are nice and crispy. Then set the ham to one side. Next, remove the sprouts from the oven and let them cool for around 5 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. using toothpicks slide on half of a sprout followed by a slice or 3 of the ham, then bookend with the other sprout half. Continue until you have around 32 mini skewers. Arrange them on a platter and serve immediately. There we have it, a lovely tasty twist on your Christmas vegetables. The classic brussels sprout served with a twist. Brilliant!

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